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Apple Butter Yogurt Cheesecake

This is another one of my let’s-clean-out-my-fridge-before-I-move-out recipes, and conveniently happened to fall in time to celebrate a friend’s birthday. :D Recipe adapted from here! I made this about 1.5 months ago, but it feels like it’s been several decades. Funny what a life of studying and nothing (no need to get dramatic here, Farrah!) little else will do to you! :O

Apple Butter Yogurt Cheesecake

 

Ingredients:
-1 package light cream cheese at room temperature (you need it at room temp to have the right consistency!)
-2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2/3 cup 0% Fage Greek yogurt
1/4 cup apple butter
-12 vanilla wafer cookies
(Topping)
-crumbled coconut bars

Instructions:
1) Put cream cheese, milk and vanilla in a blender and blend/beat until very smooth. Add yogurt and apple butter and blend/beat until smooth.
2) Put vanilla cookies into a food processor/high power blender and process until they’re fine crumbs. (If you have a lot of anger in you/no food processor, you can stuff em’ in a ziplock bag and beat them with a rolling pin.)
3) Pour cookie crumbs onto 8″ pan and spread evenly over the bottom.
4) Top the cookie crumbs with even portions of the cheesecake filling and smooth it over with the back of a spoon.
5) Sprinkle crumbled coconut bars over the top and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. (I kinda wanted to stick it in the freezer for an hour to see how it’d turn out, but there was no space. If anyone tries that, please let me know how it goes!)

We stuck an umbrella on it to make it extra-fancy.

Full Time MamaThis was a DDT Featured Favorite! :]!

And lately, because no post is complete without some kind of randomness. Here’s one of my daily pop quizzes from my friend! She usually writes them on my whiteboard, but was out of town to take her exam, so she emailed it to me instead, telling me to be sure to answer it before 10:30 a.m. As it turned out, we weren’t allowed in the building because the fire alarm went off (thanks, we really needed that ;_; ), and I am slightly ashamed to admit that I was so intent on getting back into the catacombs to study that I completely tuned out and didn’t even realize the fire alarm was going off. -1 for survival skills. :[

(How is that med student so young!?!) There’s a stinking fire alarm going off so I’m answering you on my phone. :[
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome, effed up median nerve, Phalen’s & Tinnel’s (or nerve conduction study)! If it’s not treated, more pain/numbness/tingling down lateral side of forearm/hand, atrophy of the thenar eminence, possibly double crush if shit really goes down.
    • Large intestine stuffs, small intestine(?), and I’m sure I’m forgetting one of the sexy-time parts but I haven’t gone over the levels since the OPP final. :x will look at it today! Dry and ropy would be chronic, but if there’s edema and erythema at L2, I’d go with acute and more large intestine-y or prostate-y stuffs.
    • Pons houses CN 5, 6, 7 and 8, so you’d have effed up sensation to the face, facial expressions, loss of taste to anterior 2/3 of tongue, maybe some vertigo and hearing issues.

I WOULD STILL STUDY BECAUSE ‘TIS MERELY A FLESH WOUND; I must fight on!

The internet is being shitty, so I’m waiting for the meme to load still.

Have a safe trip, an awesomely relaxing day, and you shall kick all the butts tomorrow!!! <3!

In case you wanted to know what the meme was. heh heh heh.

Cantaloupe Salsa + Liebster Award!

This was from our post-class (well, for half of us, anyway) potluck feast. :D The recipe is from here and it makes about 2 cups. :] (I portioned each serving as 1/4-cup.)

Cantaloupe Salsa

19 calories, 5g CHO’s, 1g protein, 0g fat, 1g fiber, 87mg sodium per serving!

Ingredients:
-2 cups cantaloupe, diced
-1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
-2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
-1 2-in. fresh green chile, minced
-2 tbsp fresh lime juice
-1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:
1) Mix everything and eat immediately.

This was a sampling of the awesomeness there was to be consumed.

There were also a bunch of other desserts (sadly not pictured :[ )!


Super abrupt change of topics! :O I’ve been nominated for the Liebster award! Thank you to Theresa over at Glitterbombs of Glory (I love that name, haha :D ). I’m not sure I have 10 people to nominate because everyone at GGS seems to have gotten it already, but if anyone’s up for answering 10 questions, lemme know!

Here were the questions I got:
1. What was your first race?
I’m so glad I actually have an answer to this question, hahaha. My first and only race was the 2010 Nike Women’s Marathon. I enjoy lifting weights, pole dancing, hula/Tahitian dancing, BJJ, kickboxing, pilates, yoga…so in short, running kinda falls at the very very bottom of the list. I like sprinting! (I don’t think that counts though. :[ ) Oh, the plight of having crappy type I muscle fibers. :/ I make up for it with my Type II’s though!

2. Why did you start your blog?
I’ve been writing in journals for the past 14 years, but this particular blog was started for two main reasons:

  • To keep my closest friends updated on my life after I moved across the country for grad school (and right after that, for med school). I kept it pretty much hidden from the rest of the world for several years since I’m a fairly private person. :o
  • To have a place to stockpile all the recipes I’ve tried out :]

3. What is your favorite motivation to keep working out?
In short, I am fueled by two things:

  • My vanity and dreams of badassery (I want to set all the state records in powerlifting for my weight class)
  • I’d like to be able to lead by example for my future patients. Somehow, I think they’re less likely to listen to me about healthy dietary choices/incorporating exercise into their lives if it’s completely blatant that I’m not practicing what I preach/I know nothing about it.

4. What is your favorite post-race meal?
A sushi buffet with unlimited salmon sashimi. :] If that’s not an option, I would probably go for Amphawa Thai Noodle House in San Francisco, because I’ve pretty much decided that it’s the best Thai restaurant on the planet.

5. If you could run anywhere in the world, where would it be?
All over Hawai’i! (I’d really love to be in a warm/hot, tropical place right now, but alas.)

6. How do you share your trail of glitter and sparkle?
I like making the people around me happy, and even more so for close friends, so I like sending them care packages and/or cooking them foods that I know they’ll like. :] I’m a big believer in karma and the whole, “you reap what you sow” philosophy. I think I’ve been incredibly blessed to have the people that are in my life with me, so I try to do what I can for them whenever I can.

7. What is your favorite fitness activity?
This is a toss-up between powerlifting and pole-dancing. I love em’ both equally. Don’t make me choose!

8. What is the best piece of advice you’ve heard about blogging and/or fitness?
I have issues with the “fitspo” quotes that put down other body types and/or focus solely on looking hot. Yes, looking great is awesome, but if that’s your only source of motivation, it can very quickly and easily lead you down an unhealthy path. As for body-shaming, everyone has to start from somewhere, and there is absolutely no need to bring someone else down in order to make yourself feel better.

Two that I’ve come across recently are…

  • “I’m working on a new me, not because the old me is bad, but because the old me can improve.”
  • “My goal doesn’t have a finish line; that’s why it’s a lifestyle.” (This goes hand in hand with my EXB t-shirt.)

I’ve always thought of myself as a “work in progress” of sorts, and while I know I’ll never be perfect, that’s fine with me, because I’ll always have something to strive for. :]

9. What is your favorite meal to cook?
Lately, I’ve been on a salmon kick. (When am I ever not on a salmon kick? I’m usually too poor to buy it, but as I’ve been living at my friend’s, this has changed.) The latest was Sweet & Spicy Dijon-Encrusted Salmon (…recipe scheduled to be posted in the beginning-ish of June, because I wrote everything wayyy too far in advance).

10. Any suggestions on a new race to sign up for?
I want to do a Tough Mudder at some point in my life! Or be a zombie in a zombie run. :D

I’m tagging…

These ladies are part of my team over at Girls Gone Sporty! :] Check their blogs out if you have a chance! :D

1) Describe your favorite workout.
2) What do you like to do to wind down and relax after a long/stressful day?
3) What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to fitness?
4) Do you have a favorite brand of workout clothes?
5) What are some of your favorite songs on your workout playlist? (If you don’t have one, what are some of your favorite songs in general? :] )
6) What never fails to make you happy?
7) Favorite meal to cook (or eat)?
8) What are 3 of your future goals?
9) If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
10) What’s your dream job?

birthday celebrations

It was my birthday last week, which is slightly bittersweet because it means that I now officially have to pay for my own health insurance (nooooo!!!). Parting is such sweet sorrow. :[! However, I have pretty much the coolest friends ever, so…three birthday celebrations later, I am finally actually writing about it. :O

On the actual day of, we had plans to go to the Chinese buffet in town because it was right after Easter and my friend was craving General Tso’s chicken (she gave up meat for Lent). Monika and Hira were about two steps from getting me a gift card to Kroger for my birthday (yes, such is my love for food and grocery-shopping), but decided instead to get me a curling iron for my “future cosmetic endeavors.” (They reasoned that I was much more likely to buy myself food vs. a curling iron, and they are indeed correct.) Mayhaps I can finally start learning how to do all of these hairstyles! <3 It’d be a great improvement from my current state (…I rarely comb my hair).

Andrea made me a strawberry mango cake!

On Friday, the gang (our band) and I were going to head to Stardust Cafe, a farm to table restaurant that’s probably one of my favorite eateries here…but we neglected to remember that it was Friday and that reservations might have been a good idea. (Oops.) We tried Food & Friends, but the wait was equally as long and we were all hungry, so I suggested we go to When Pigs Fly, which was not downtown and thus, less likely to not have a wait. It’s another one of my favorite restaurants in town because the owners are super friendly and welcoming, and they have awesome portions. And pulled chicken. PULLED CHICKEN. <3 (Every other place on earth seems to serve just pulled pork, which I cannot consume, hence my enthusiasm.) When they heard that we were out to celebrate my birthday, they asked if I wanted them to sing for me, while including as an aside that I probably would not want to hear it because they couldn’t sing very well.

: How ’bout this? Why don’t we give you free ice cream instead? That’ll be better for your ears anyway.
F: Deal! :O!

(They have homemade ice cream that I’ve been meaning to try.) It was hard to decide on a flavor. I sampled the black raspberry, blueberry pomegranate, orange cream and strawberry cheesecake and they were all equally amazing. *-* After dinner, we went back to our respective study hovels and I eventually returned to what I refer to as my crazy kids (aka the 80-ish cats at the shelter). I completely embrace the term, “crazy cat lady.” I’m fast headed in that direction and very much love it here. :]

Sarge’s progression from the bed to my butt. (“Well, your butt does have its own orbit…”)

This is how I lure the army of cats in at night so I can close the doors and prevent them from run-ins with the heartlessly cruel neighbor/getting eaten by coyotes.

The next morning, I got in some studying before running off to church. (I’m the pianist about 50% of the time.)

An obligatory picture of my church meal! They are amazing cooks. :x

I disappeared back into the catacombs to stuff in 5 lectures so that I could actually enjoy myself later on. My pastor invited a bunch of people over to his place to have a birthday party for me. :O!

Two types of fried rice (and not questionably reheated, so there were no traces of B. cereus!) + a vegetarian sushi roll! I probably had 6 plates because I have issues with moderation.

Jennifer made me an amazingly delicious chocolate cake with shredded coconut and pecans. We ate it with sliced bananas. <3

We improvised with the candle because the guys neglected to check their text messages when they went to Wally World and I insisted that they stay and not go back out to get one.

I was even serenaded by a quartet! This required three takes. Ronald got my name right on the third try, hahaha.

Someone’s prom is this coming weekend and my friend is helping her with the hair, so I was the guinea pig model for a waterfall braid. :D I need to learn to do this. And possibly also change my part every now and then.

I hadn’t played Settlers since grad school. We used to gather every weekend at someone’s house and play until we hated each other (for serious, this game gets pretty personal and breaks up friendships like no other–except Munchkin, which may well be the ultimate game of backstabbery). In spring semester, it got to the point where we actually brought the game to school to play during our study breaks.

I managed to win, but just barely! If Jennifer had not traded a card with me, she would’ve won right after my turn.

I’m the blue! :D They called my road the “Great Wall of China.” hah.

I’m really going to miss all the friends I made here. Here’s to hoping I pass my boards + get my schedule soon so I can plan out when I can come back to visit. >_>

Recipe ReDux: Pumpkin Pistachio Kale Fried Rice

The theme for April 2014 is…

Treasured Cookware: Share a story of classic cookware – and a healthy recipe to go with it. Some of us will be celebrating Mother’s Day next month (May 11,) but it’s more than once a year that many of us cook with a pan, a wooden spoon or another piece of cookware passed on to us from the kitchens of our favorite relatives. Let’s see what you can cook up with your treasured kitchen tool!

I had slight difficulty with this one, mostly because my family doesn’t do all that much cooking. My dad once gave me a bowl of mustard pasta (yes, really) and I made the mistake of believing my mom.
(dad): Try it!
F: (sniffs the pot of pasta) Why does it smell kinda…strange…?
(dad): Just try some!
F: Did you have any yet?
(mom): Yeah, I had a bowl of it. It was fine.
F: Well, okay then.

In case you were wondering, I now have trust issues. I forgot that my mom doesn’t love and adore food the way I do, and pretty much only eats because it’s necessary to survive. ;_;

This entire back story is really just to explain that there isn’t actually a piece of classic cookware that’s been in my life for as long as I can remember. The one constant I can consistently recall (which may or may not have to do with the fact that I’m Asian) though is our rice cooker! Since I’m currently located across the country from my family, I’m obviously not using the same one they have, but I absolutely adore this thing. <3 I’ve used it for all kinds of kitchen experiments in the past 1.5-ish years–for instance, to bake cakes for friends’ birthdays and to cook quinoa.

The recipe is adapted from here! One look at that picture and there was pretty much no way I could go on without trying to make it. The substitutions were done based on my budget/what I already had in my apartment, and it didn’t come out looking anywhere near as pretty as the recipe I modified it from, but people liked it a lot! It’s been ages since we’ve been able to do a potluck (med school got in the way), so I gathered everyone at my place over the weekend and we had a mega-feast! It’s been a long, long year, so it was great to be able to relax for an evening while enjoying great food and company. :]

Pumpkin Pistachio Kale Fried Rice with Maple Tofu Cubes

 

Ingredients:
-4 cups brown rice (cooked)
-1/2 cup raw pistachios, shelled
-1/2 small sweet onion, diced
-3 cups kale, chopped (thick stems removed)
-1 grapefruit (juice + pulp)
-1 cup pumpkin puree
-sea salt, to taste
-black pepper, to taste
-pinch of cayenne pepper
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tbsp EVOO
-2 tsp honey (can sub with maple syrup to make it vegan!)
-1 tsp ground ginger
-1 cup firm tofu, cubed

Instructions:
1) Cook rice in rice cooker. (Preferably day-old rice.)
2) Heat 1-2 tsp EVOO in a skillet (or ginormous pot) over high heat. Add the chopped onion + saute for 1-2 minutes. Add pistachio nuts and saute for another minute until they’re toasted.
3) Add in another tsp of EVOO and add rice, pumpkin, salt, pepper, grapefruit, garlic and spices. Toss and saute so that pumpkin distributes evenly through the rice.
5) Add grapefruit juice to hydrate the pan and ingredients. Saute until it absorbs. Transfer to large bowl.
6) Add tofu cubes to skillet Drizzle honey and ground ginger over tofu cubes.  Add a bit of salt and pepper.
7) Saute on high and toss it with the rice until just combined.
8) Serve hot!


As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy!

(Please note that this is a closed link-up for Recipe ReDux Contest entries only. Any links added to this collection for non-ReDux posts will be deleted.)

This was the view from our “front porch!” WV paints its sunsets as though the sky’s on fire. My phone camera doesn’t do it justice, but it’s still beautiful all the same. <3

This was all but three of us! (One’s taking the picture and two of em’ came later.)

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

I forgot to take a [prettier] picture of this, but…these are super good! Definitely not healthy, but…at least there’s oatmeal in it? (Twisted logic, I know.) We had a holiday potluck last Thursday (one of our first potlucks in many, many moons) so we could all get together and hang out before leaving for winter break (our last one ever!).

We used the refrigerator to get a picture of all of us. :O

The recipe is adapted from here! I went to Kosina/Andrea’s (they basically live in the same place) to help make enough food for an army. We ended up having enough leftovers to each make a plate (or three) to bring to school to eat while taking our COMSAEs.

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

~121 calories, 14g CHO’s, 7g fat, 2g protein, 1g fiber, 39mg sodium per cookie!

Ingredients:
-3/4 cup butter, softened
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-2 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp salt
-3 cups rolled oats
-1 2/3 cups butterscotch chips
-3/4 cup crushed almonds

Instructions:
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together. Add eggs + vanilla, beating well.
3) Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until blended. Stir in oats + butterscotch chips. Drop by tablepoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten each slightly.
4) Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges start browning.